Cable Show Reveals The Truth Behind Product Placements In “Descendants Of The Sun”

On May 2, the Channel A show “Heard It Through the Grapevine” discussed the rumors surrounding product placement (PPL) on the hit drama “Descendants of the Sun.”

In the broadcast, Lee Ji Hye asked, “Is there a reason food is often used as product placements in dramas?”

One of the panelists said, “Whenever I went to buy ginseng, it was sold out. Sales had risen to 176%. I also heard that the sandwich store had received a lot of interest.”

Lee Sang Min added, “Because of excessive PPL, there were times where the flow of the drama was interrupted. Every episode, I would get annoyed by the PPL.”

Another panelist said, “There’s a scene where Jin Goo is driving a car and then switches to automatic driving so he can lean over and kiss Kim Ji Won. That was a scene with a lot of controversy. The system is supposed to assist steering, but it was used for something that isn’t possible. In reality, if you let go of the steering wheel for more than 20 seconds, the system stops functioning.”

“After the episode, a lot of viewers were annoyed,” another panelist added. “But through the advertising, the company “H” pulled in a value of 110 billion won (about $95 million).”

Heard it through the grapevine

A reporter said, “The most controversial episode was Episode 13. There were 13 product placements. People started calling it ‘the PPL show.’ All the PPL was saved up for that one episode. Even the chocolates that were distributed among the children of Urk was PPL.”

Lee Sang Min asked, “From the point of view of the business, isn’t it bad if there’s controversy?” But one reporter replied, “The business looks at it from the opposite point of view. No matter how natural you try and make it, the audience always knows. So they think they might as well make it obvious.”

Lee Ji Hye asked, “How much does a business invest to get product placement?”

“For things like sandwiches it’s 10 million won (about $8600) if they order them and 20 million won (about $17,350) if they eat them. For ginseng it’s about 20 to 25 million won, and one sip of bottled water is about 20 million won.”

What do you think of product placements in dramas?

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